Archive for Saturday, March 25, 2006

Another road test ahead at NU

Huskers last foe before Jayhawks return to Hoglund

March 25, 2006


— Wintry weather forced Kansas University's baseball squad to play a doubleheader today against No. 2-ranked Nebraska.


Facing the deep, powerful Huskers (15-2) twice in one day could be a struggle for the Jayhawks (16-8), who fell out of the national rankings after dropping two of three games last weekend at Baylor.

Those losses came after a trip to then-No. 2 Clemson, a series in which KU also lost two of three.

In the midst of this brutal stretch KU still must hope for a solid start to the Big 12 Conference season, and junior Sean Land and senior Ricky Fairchild have today's task of corralling the Huskers.

Land (4-3, 3.82 earned-run average) is penciled to face Joba Chamberlain (2-1, 1.29) in the opener at noon today, then Fairchild (4-1, 4.31) should face lefty Tony Watson (3-0, 1.78) in the nightcap.

NU's pitchers don't allow much offense - especially in their last 11 games, all Husker victories. Nebraska's Sunday starter, Johnny Dorn, is a relative meatballer at 3-1, 3.33.

Senior Gus Milner is the likeliest Jayhawk to explode offensively. Milner leads KU in 11 offensive categories, including average (.402), hits (39) and RBIs (30).

There is an end in sight to the Jayhawks' road weariness, though. KU will return Wednesday to Hoglund Ballpark for a 7 p.m. game against Wichita State, then play host March 31-April 2 to Missouri for a three-game set.

¢ Notes: KU was 1-2 against Nebraska last year at Hoglund. ... Inclement weather has forced a doubleheader in the last four regular-season KU-NU series. ... Sunday KU starter Kodiak Quick (3-2, 1.96) has not allowed an earned run in the first or second inning this season. ... Senior closer Don Czyz has eight saves to rank among the nation's top firemen. ... The Jayhawks are 3-4 against top 10 foes this season. ... KU has opened the season playing 23 of its 27 games on the road. ... KU trailed in 11 of its 16 victories this season.


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